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Ohhh, We Want the Deng. Gotta Have That Deng.

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On the cusp of an assured trading bonanza, here are Top 10 reasons we hope Geoff Petrie can manage to trade Peja for Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls:

  1. The guy instantly becomes one of the best defenders on the Kings, behind possibly Jason Hart and Brian Skinner. He has an astounding opponents' PER of 10.4 this season and 13.9 last season, his rookie campaign. Using the current incarnation of Roland Rating, Luol is statistically the best man defender on a good defensive team. And he's young - defense is something you learn.
  2. He was the #2 high school player in the country in 2003, behind some guy named LeBron James. Nice company. Also, he made the NBA All-Rookie First Team last season, along with Ben Gordon, Emeka Okafor, Dwight Howard and Andre Iguodala. Again, nice company.
  3. He's a stand-up dude. His dad is a political activist for his home country of Sudan, he's a proud member of the Yinka tribe, Coach K loved him, he went to college for a season though he was an obvious lottery pick and the dude is a normal 20-year-old when it comes to sexing his girlfriend.
  4. He's one of the two best British basketball players in the world, and hopes to lead his team when London hosts the 2012 Olympics.
  5. His last name is "Deng," which is pronounced like the word "Dang." The Napolean Dynamite jokes just kind of present themselves for usage. Also, Luol's three syllable full name owes itself to some potentially great haiku. "Stojakovic" is too long to be useful. (And what the hell good is a scouting report without a breakdown of the guys name, really.)
  6. He shoots a good deal better when the game is on the line, according to 82games. His overall eFG this season in .484. In clutch time? .559. (For a contrast of sorts, here are Peja's overall/clutch splits from last season: .530 eFG overall/.356 eFG in clutch time. This year's clutch numbers are screwy - it hilariously shows a .000 eFG for the guy in clutch time. Funniest thing I've seen today, really.)
  7. Deng's ego is rather nonexistant. He's not starting for the Bulls currently, despite being one of their three best players on both ends. This means he probably wouldn't mind coming off the bench, allowing Kenny Thomas to shine as a possible starting small forward, increasing KT's value and facilitating a trade for a back-up center/power forward. I'm telling you, here's the ranking of people most likely to give an enormous fist pump should Peja-for-Luol go down: 1) Me. 2) Kenny Thomas. 3) Noted Sacramento-lover Tony Blair.
  8. Luol has a very good rebound rating - he pulls in 12.0 percent of all available boards, which comes out to 8.2 rebounda per 40 minutes (that's 3.6 more per 40 than Peja). And he's on a very good rebounding team. And he'd be going to a quite poor rebounding team. If he rebounded in Sacramento at the same clip he is in Chicago, he'd be the fourth-best rebounder on the team, and could presumably surpass a starting KT and Bonzi, given the general availability of boards for athletic guys.
  9. He's not only cheap this season ($2.4 million), he's cheap for the next two seasons as well. A presumptive trade for Deng would also include the expiring contract of Tim Thomas, who is making almost $14 million this season. To match up salaries, someone like Brian Skinner or Corliss Williamson would have to be involved, furthering Sacramento's cap space next season and in future seasons, extending the team's ability to extend Bonzi's contract or pick someone new. Also, Peja is likely to make $12 million or more next season and for five seasons after that.
  10. And finally... Luol Deng has never been suspended 70 games for going into the stands and beating the crap out of the guy who happened to laugh at the fact that some other dude threw a beer at Deng when he was dramatically laying on the scorer's table after a hard foul by a muscle-bound rival. So, you know, he's got that going for him.
Start the chants, ARCO faithful: We want Deng! We want Deng! We want Deng!